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J Infect Dis. 1993 Jun;167(6):1296-301.

Patterns and prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection in posttransfusion non-A, non-B hepatitis.

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  • 1Laboratory of Virology and Parasitology, Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, New York Blood Center, NY 10021.


Improved serologic and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based tests for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection provided an opportunity to reexamine a posttransfusion follow-up study done from 1969 to 1972. A total of 213 cardiac surgery patients was prospectively followed after receiving an average of 18 units of blood, 24% of which was from paid donors. Serial sera were tested for antibody to recombinant DNA-derived C100-3 and capsid polypeptides; selected cases were also tested against synthetic peptides derived from different regions of the HCV sequence. PCR and RIBA II immunoblot assays were done on selected sera. Each of 55 probable and 5 of 11 possible hepatitis cases who were seronegative before transfusion seroconverted. Anti-HCV seroconversion also occurred in 6 (4%) of 148 subjects without hepatitis. Among subjects followed > 1 year, PCR positivity persisted in 14 (82%) of 17. If the results of this study can be generalized, all bloodborne non-A, non-B hepatitis may be due to HCV.

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